2022 Winners of Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship



Scholarship winners will receive a capped, one-time award of $20,000 and will be offered post-graduation employment with SpecialtyCare. 

SpecialtyCare first announced the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Education Scholarship along with our support of Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education in 2015. A major initiative from SpecialtyCare is to generate future perfusionists to help the current shortage issue. The scholarship honors Jim Brown, a long-time perfusionist, and Gary Brukardt, who founded SpecialtyCare and served as CEO and chairman. They exemplified integrity, leadership, and dedication to patient care, and this scholarship is designed to support students who share these qualities and will work to advance patient outcomes throughout their careers.

Today, SpecialtyCare announced the winners of the 2022 Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship. This capped, one-time award of $20,000, will help relieve the financial burden of perfusion school tuition for a group of future cardiovascular perfusionists.

When employed by SpecialtyCare, winners will benefit from the many resources we can provide as a leader in the industry – excellent benefits and compensation packages, superior training, assistance with certification preparation, and a chance to take part in industry-leading research projects.


Meet The Winners

Ali Bowers is graduating from the UPMC School of Cardiovascular Perfusion at Carlow University this December. She will be graduating with her M.S. in Cardiovascular Perfusion. Ali has her B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus on Movement Science from The Pennsylvania State University. Over the coming months, she will continue and complete rotations at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, UPMC Altoona, and UPMC Passavant.

Victoria Parker is a Cardiopulmonary Perfusion Student at Thomas Jefferson University. A 2019 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Victoria was also valedictorian of her nursing class at Aria Health School of Nursing. She continues gaining experience as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Jefferson Health-Northeast. Victoria has accepted a position with our Jefferson Perfusion Team in Philadelphia, PA to begin in June 2023.

Carson Schmeck is a cardiovascular perfusion student at the Medical University of South Carolina. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University. He has worked as the Patient Care Coordinator at Emory University Hospital and is currently gaining experience shadowing cardiac surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina.

About the Scholarship Process

A committee selected the finalists based on a stringent application process that included a personal essay, recommendation letters, and a personal interview. SpecialtyCare began the application process for the 2022 Brown-Brukardt Scholarship in December 2021.

“On behalf of the executive leadership and the perfusion service line of SpecialtyCare, we welcome each of these winners as they complete their schooling and prepare to join the associate ‘family’ of perfusionists within our organization,” said Andy Stasko, CCP, MS, RRT, Clinical Specialist for the Mountain Perfusion Team and West Region and Chairperson of the scholarship committee. He added, “Each finalist demonstrated the values, drive, determination, and passion to advance our profession and we are thrilled to acknowledge and congratulate these deserving individuals. Welcome to SpecialtyCare!”

Former recipient, Cassie Lopez, describes the scholarship as “…one of my most proud achievements! It offered tuition for my perfusion training, a guaranteed job with a company with more than half the nation’s perfusion accounts, and opportunities to grow in many directions, whether management or research opportunities.” She said the scholarship gave her peace to focus on completing her training without financial stress. She also enjoyed the idea of having a number of hospitals to consider employment that provided a variety of locations and caseloads that met her needs. 

About SpecialtyCare

SpecialtyCare is dedicated to providing an exceptional patient experience, becoming the OR employer of choice, and leading the way in OR innovation. They do this through staffing operating rooms and providing the equipment needed for medical procedures.